Ubisoft six-month earnings up 13 percent

Six-month sales top $218.4 million in gross revenue; GRAW singled out as prime revenue driver.

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Today, Ubisoft reported its earnings for the six months ended September 30, 2006, the first half of its fiscal year. Like many publishers, the company beat expectations, reporting 172 million euros ($218.4 million) in gross sales--a 13 percent year-on-year increase from the same period last year.

"Ubisoft achieved a strong first semester, exceeding our first expectations by 25 percent," said CEO Yves Guillemot, referring to the company's initial projections. "This performance results from the quality and diversity of our catalogue [and] the strength of our distribution network, which allows for efficient promotion of our games and brings us an increasing number of publishing and distribution deals."

Of all Ubisoft's titles, Guillemot singled out the Xbox 360 version of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter for particular praise. Developed at the publisher's Montreal studio, the critically acclaimed third-person shooter's premium map pack was downloaded 150,000 times on Microsoft's online service. Ubi's announcement did not break down sales of the map pack by territory, but it did say the publisher received 3 million euros ($3.8 million) of income from sales on Xbox Live Marketplace, most of which came from GRAW.

Looking forward, Ubisoft now forecasts sales of around 270 million euros ($342.9 million) in its third financial quarter, which will end on December 31, 2006. If the prediction proves accurate, the publisher will enjoy an 8-12 percent year-on-year increase in quarterly income over the previous year--up from the previous estimate of a 5-10 percent increase.

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